Forman Arts Initiative and Philadelphia Foundation Announce Opening of Art Works’ Third Annual Grant Application Period

Philadelphia grant program to add eight new awardees to its cohort of artists and organizations, helping to foster and propel the city’s expansive cultural community. 

Philadelphia, PA, May 19, 2023Forman Arts Initiative (FAI) and Philadelphia Foundation (PF) are pleased to announce that the grant application window for Art Works is now open. Art Works, founded in 2021, is a joint $3 million grant program designed to support Philadelphia arts and cultural organizations and emerging artists working in partnership with BIPOC and other underserved communities. Applications are available at and are due by June 16, 2023. In acknowledgement of the time and effort often involved in grant applications, the 2023 Art Works application has been streamlined to allow for a first round of applicants to more easily apply. The third cohort of grantees will be announced in November of this year.

Art Works accepts applications from local cultural nonprofit (or fiscally sponsored) organizations with annual operating budgets between $250,000 and $5 million as well as individual artists with a commitment to incorporating community perspectives into their work. Individual artists will each receive $50,00 over two years. Organization awards will range from $75,000-$150,000 over two years and can be used to support any aspect of an organization’s mission.

As Art Works heads into its third year of grantmaking, it has had a significant  impact throughout Philadelphia’s cultural community. Grantees have expanded the reach of their programs and works, built significant operational capacity, brought improvements to their facilities, launched campaigns, and forged new civic engagement initiatives, among other poignant successes.

“Jennifer and I are thrilled to begin the grant process for the third cohort of Art Works grantees and further our support of artists and organizations working to sustain Philadelphia’s creative communities,” said Michael Forman, Co-Founder of Forman Arts Initiative. “Philadelphia is rich with innovative, vital artists and organizations that enrich the city for every citizen and visitor. We are grateful to partner with the Philadelphia Foundation once again to help make this program possible.”

In addition to the awarded funds, all grantees will have access to experiential professional development workshops and pro bono professional consulting services designed to provide strategic and tactical support on a range of topics including legal, marketing, communications, budgeting and finance, among others. Art Works will also continue to give grantees the opportunity to host co-operative education students from Drexel University to support programs and operations. These placements, administered by Drexel’s Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships, are designed to provide students with meaningful work experience in the arts and culture sector.

“The evolution of Art Works has been especially exciting for our team at the Philadelphia Foundation,” stated Pedro A. Ramos, President and CEO of Philadelphia Foundation.  “The intentional approach Michael and Jennifer at FAI have taken to build meaningful and inclusive relationships with diverse artists and arts organizations reflects their personal commitment to the arts as well as our shared belief that art can connect, build and transform spaces and narratives to break down barriers through open access and inclusion.”

The 2023 cohort will join the 2021 and 2022 grantee cohorts in representing the growing network of socially engaged, civic-minded artists and organizations affecting lasting community building throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area. Year One and Two grantees include the following organizations and artists:

Year One (2021) Organizations: 

Year One (2021) Artists: 

Year Two (2022) Organizations:

Year Two (2022) Artists: 

2022 Artist Mentor Award:  Jamaaladeen Tacuma

With the support from Art Works, the first two cohorts have excelled in enriching Philadelphia’s cultural landscape. As one example, The Colored Girls Museum is growing its function as a gathering place, exhibition space, think tank, and research facility dedicated to honoring Black girls. Philadelphia Clef Club, while preserving its history as a place of community for jazz artists like John Coltrane and Nina Simone, is expanding its jazz education program and creating an updated modern facility at which students can train and explore. With the help of their Art Works grants, BlackStar added significantly to their staff, Bearded Ladies Cabaret created The Beardmobile, a mobile performance unit that travels throughout Philadelphia with other Philly-based artists, and First Person Arts secured widespread distribution of their new film TRIGGER, which explores the roles everyone plays in combating Philadelphia and the country’s gun violence epidemic.

Year Three grantees will be selected by a committee composed of community advisors and FAI and PF principals and staff. The 2023 selection committee includes:

  1. Erica F. Battle (John Alchin and Hal Marryatt Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art)
  2. Jaime Frankfurt (Art Advisor)
  3. Eric Pryor (President and CEO, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts)
  4. Alba Martinez (Executive Director, La Guagua 47 Community Arts Project)
  5. Ginger Rudolph (Founder and Editor of HAHA Magazine)
  6. Zoë Rayn Evans (Executive Director, University City Arts League
  7. Anula Shetty (Artist)
  8. Jennifer Rice (Co-Founder, Forman Arts Initiative)
  9. Michael Forman (Co-Founder, Forman Arts Initiative)
  10. Pedro A. Ramos (President and CEO, Philadelphia Foundation

The Selection Committee will meet this September to review the finalists and awardees will be notified in October, 2023.

About Forman Arts Initiative:  Forman Arts Initiative (FAI), founded by Michael Forman and Jennifer Rice, is dedicated to supporting community-based arts and creativity in Philadelphia through programming, convening, and advocacy. Over the coming years, FAI will serve as a platform to connect, mentor, and support artists and organizations around Philadelphia to deepen and to grow the rich cultural heritage of Philadelphia’s communities. Since 2021, FAI has been working in partnership with the Philadelphia Foundation to distribute $3 million in unrestricted funding over five years to community artists and organizations in the Greater Philadelphia Area through a new grantmaking program called Art Works. In 2023, FAI, in partnership with Mural Arts, established Public Works, a residency program that places artists in Philadelphia government agencies or organizations to develop public artwork.. Forman Arts Initiative collaborates closely with DVDL, an agency of cultural strategists, to facilitate the programming and ongoing development of FAI.  For more information, visit

About Philadelphia Foundation:  Founded in 1918, Philadelphia Foundation strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. Philadelphia Foundation grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation manages more than 1,000 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more visit


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